A new guide, developed by Diabetes UK, for managing insulin administration in the community was launched at the Diabetes UK Professional Conference in Glasgow. The guide covers issues around accountability and delegation.
Accredited guide for managing insulin administration
The two-part guide, accredited by the Royal College of Nursing, TREND UK and the UK Clinical Pharmacy Association was developed in consultation with a working group of healthcare professionals with a special interest in this area. The guide can help community staff, such as community and district nurses and diabetes specialist nurses (DSNs) to improve their diabetes caseload management and develop an insulin delegation programme. Insulin delegation is when a registered nurse allocates the task of insulin administration to a non-registered practitioner, such as a healthcare assistant.
The first part of the guide focuses on reviewing the community diabetes caseload. It includes guidance on individual patient reviews as well as reviewing the caseload as a whole to understand how care is being delivered. It will support community teams to think about standards of care, staffing and caseload management processes. The process can lead to nursing time being saved due to more effective working.
The second part is a guide for developing an insulin delegation programme. The guide provides step-by-step guidance on developing the right policies and procedures, training and competency assessment, as well as clarifying the question of accountability.
Simon O’Neill, Director of Health Intelligence and Professional Liaison at Diabetes UK, said: “As the number of older people continues to rise rapidly an increasing number of this group will need help to manage their diabetes. This means that community nurses are likely to have a growing caseload of people who require support to manage their diabetes, including being given insulin injections. It is therefore becoming increasingly important that more community staff are given the knowledge and skills to care for people with diabetes.”
'Solutions to empower community staff'
Helen Atkins, DSN at University Hospital Leicester, who was part of the working group, said: “We know that this is an area where staff can often feel concerned about issues of accountability. This guide offers solutions to empower community staff to deliver care safely, by developing the knowledge and skills of community staff. There is huge potential to save time and money by ensuring the most effective use of staff time, and improve patient care delivery.
“The guide gives them all the tools they need to develop an insulin delegation programme, from planning to preparing policies and procedures, checking competencies, designing and implementing training and evaluation. It provides the framework for safe and effective diabetes care in a community setting.”